“Mother and child is priority as the road map of the health sector is concerned”, Dr. Nsame Denis, Director of the Regional Hospital Bamenda remarks at the re-opening ceremony of the renovated Neonatology ward
The birth of a baby is a wonderful and very complex process. Many physical and emotional changes occur for both mother and baby. A baby must make many physical adjustments to life outside the mother's body. According to Stanford Children’s Health leaving the uterus means that a baby can no longer depend on the mother's blood supply and placenta for important body functions. Before birth, the baby depends on functions from the mother. These include breathing, eating, elimination of waste, and immune protection. When a baby leaves the womb, its body systems must change.
- The lungs must breathe air.
- The cardiac and pulmonary circulation changes.
- The digestive system must begin to process food and excrete waste.
- The kidneys must begin working to balance fluids and chemicals in the body and excrete waste.
- The liver and immune systems must begin working on their own.
Newborn babies who need intensive medical care are often put in a special area of the hospital called the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The NICU has advanced technology and trained healthcare professionals to give special care for the tiniest patients.
The neonatal intensive care unit of the Regional hospital Bamenda has been given a facelift to better manage the mothers and their babies who come there.
At the reopening ceremony which took place infront of the unit, the Director of the Regional Hospital Bamenda, Dr. Nsame Denis in his opening remark said “few months after taking up service, Mr. Delegate, you gave us an assignment. Mother and child is priority as the road map of the health sector is concerned. The Administration and Management of the hospital judged it wise that our babies and mothers are not being well catered for that we have to improve where we take care of the neonats. When we talk about the neonatology, we talk about the new born, we are talking about premature babies, children from 0-28 days and since the maternity is just nearby, we receive 250-350 deliveries every month and close to 10% of these deliveries have problems; problems from respiratory distress, infections, asphyxia, malformation and it is this unit that takes care of them until they are really ripe to go. The mortality of these children is very high because of the delicate nature to manage these children. They are children who can only be managed in incubators or special conditions because their skin is very delicate and the air around them too is very delicate".
Giving a general overview of how the unit has been functioning before today, the Matron of the ward also a pediatrician, Dr. Sunjo Frida Blessed the director for honoring the need and transforming the place into what it is today. She shared their experience in the former unit which was dilapidated, molded walls and dark ceilings. “When I came to the hospital in 2004, we had just two boxes which took care of all the babies in the region. Permit me call it two boxes or two and a half boxes because they were pretty small , two of us could not even stand in that space. It took the efforts of many people to help us function for all these years. There is a charity in the UK that helped us all these years. In 2007, this organization said we cannot have everyone in the same space so they raised funds and assisted us with an extension and the toilet. At some point questions were raised if people out of the country can help us like this, what then do we do for ourselves? They give you a building, oxygen, Oxygen tanks, so what do you do your own? There was no answer to that so we just decided to stay quiet and let things be because no condition is permanent. At the right time which is now, we are witnessing the difference in the ward”.
The Regional delegate Dr. Kinsley Che Soh proceeded to cutting the ribbon hence a visit to the ward and blessing to by the hospital Chaplains. Dr. Kinsley Che Soh at the end, expressed gratitude to the hospital management for the realization and extends thanks to the former director who started the journey in other wards and today it is at the neonatology. He counted himself lucky because all good things are happening during his time. He indicated that the renovation is not yet optimal because there is need for beds, oxygen machines and other equipment but they are going to include in their business plan to get it done. He concluded by stating his wish which is for the positive contamination of renovation be carried to the delivery room.